Android games are doomed to be freemium since the system became mature. And unlike what might seem, they won’t stop being.
In the world of Android games, there is a continually repeating maxim: the freemium. What’s this? It is the terminology for a game that is free but whose advances are determined by the money you spend
on it. Come on, you can play it for free, but if you don’t pay, you’re going to have to put Holy patience in the game.
And many of us are sick of this model. Almost all the games we download from the Play Store follow this standard, and it is quite overwhelming to have to play a game in such a way as to remind you always that you have to deposit money into it. And to be very sorry, I will be blunt: these games will forever remain so.
The freemium, the condemnation of games on Android
Android is an open-source system, that is, totally free. It is what characterizes our policy most that we have great freedom to do a thousand things on our mobile. But as already demonstrated, very few of us are willing to pay for an app, and that means that if you put a payment app in the store, you may not have too much revenue with it.
Solution? Put payments inside the app, but leave it free. This will give you more downloads, and also, people will be more likely to pay for a service after using it at first (see test versions) — a strategy followed by every Android developer.
Not a bad idea, eye. As much as we complain about it, it is the one that works best, and the creators of applications need to profit from their work, and they don’t have to do this out of love of art. But, indeed, we often miss alternatives that do not force us to pass as a first-hand box or encourage the purchase of digital services.
But this has a negative consequence, and that is that this model has an impact on the quality of the games. Many are made questionably, and there is no doubt that due to revenue, other platforms like iOS have much better quality in their applications because many of these are paid for.
So, we can determine that the Android freemium is not excessively wicked, and it is necessary. But it does not stop the games from suffering a negative load to the users with the repetition of the formula in a loop, which seems to be the one that works best.
The key is in the very essence of Android
As I said before, Android is a free system. This will not stop unless Google changes it (although that is not the theme) and as long as Android remains Android, the games will stay freemium. Because the most profitable model will continue to take precedence, and because it is such a comprehensive system worldwide, it is challenging for this to change.
It is straightforward to keep doing something to change it, and manufacturers and developers will continue with this model because it is the only one and also gives benefits. We’re not going to see a paradigm shift until users don’t want to spend start money on an application or game, and obviously, there’s a lot left for that to happen.
Other factors that we will see below play their part, such as piracy and the preconception that everything on Android is free. Nor can we forget that many of these games are meant to be addictive. It’s all thought out, as they would say.
To illustrate my concept of preconceptions with Android, I’ll give you a conversation I had with a friend about this topic.
We’re talking about someone who’s never had Android, and the little he’s seen in the system is that everything is free. Besides, you also know that in this system, it is straightforward to hack games and so on. So, this helps developers not make a payout game from the start, because either it will end up pirated or the Android mentality won’t give you a chance.
Added to this is an addiction in Android video games. All these games are designed so that whoever plays them has total and absolute devotion to continuing progress. Many times, they are encouraged to shorten those long periods by going through the cash box for “smaller” amounts. It’s the perfect trap.
So, putting ourselves in the skin of a developer who doesn’t have much renown and being in the position of having to upload an app, what are we going to choose, knowing from the beginning which of the two models is more profitable? The freemium or the one-time payment?
Powerful knight Don Money
Even going to the most fundamental monetary section, we see illuminating facts. For example, Monument Valley 2 has generated a whopping 10.4 million dollars in its first year of life. A figure that is divided between the two leading stores, Google Play Store, App Store, and other platforms. As the percentage stays at 59.3 percent and only 7 percent for Google Play.
The rest has been left in unofficial downloads, various uses among relatives, etc. But it’s devastating to see how a game that costs less than 10 euros have generated so much on iOS while on Android the number of users that bought the game has been minimal.
It makes sense since a user who has spent about EUR 1 000 on the phone will not suffer when paying for an application, especially if it has some quality. On the other hand, Android devices with ranges ranging from 200 to 300 euros are often successful. It is understandable that this sector, the majority in itself, does not want to spend money on apps and games.
Even if the model isn’t going to change, we need to. One day, our smartphones will become real gaming platforms at the level of consoles and computers. There’s plenty left, yes. But it will happen, only as a matter of technological progress. And the problem is that when that time comes if the time has not changed, it will affect the entire industry.
Because right now, the standardized video game industries and the mobile market are very different. There are very few titles that come close to emulating the freemium concept, and the Times that have passed (I repeat, in similar cases) the public has thrown themselves on it. Let us remember the case of Battlefront 2 and EA.
That is why we need to change the model as soon as we can because I understand that the freemium concept is the only one that comes out profitable on Android. But if this idea ends up in the most classic video game industry, we’ll have nothing but half-baked games in which we can only advance if we drop tickets. And this can’t be.